Today marks the 38th day of this year’s Legislative Session. We have been hearing testimony on bills nearly every day, and I’ve been working hard to ensure that my legislative proposals are successful. This week’s highlights include:
Sexual Abuse of Minors by Adults in Positions of Authority:
I have worked extensively with policy experts to craft legislation that will protect children from predators who use their positions to exploit children in their care. This bill will fix our current law, which only applies to full time teachers, and only when students are under their care or supervision. The current law, therefore, doesn’t protect children from abuse by adults such as coaches, camp counselors, clergy, tutors, music teachers, etc. The current law also includes a “Saturday afternoon exception,” where a teacher who abuses a student outside of school hours is not covered by the law.
I have worked with experts to make this bill comprehensive and to address the issue of persons in authority broadly by including employees of schools, child care (including after-school programs), non-profits, sports and recreation facilities, camps, religious institutions, and governments. My bill recognizes that a wide range of adults are in positions of authority over children, and that they are in that position 24/7. You can find the bill, HB 1075, here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&tab=subject3&id=hb1075&stab=01&ys=2013RS
Job Creation: The House Economic Matters Committee held a hearing on the Maryland Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Program on Tuesday, February 12. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation, along with Speaker Busch, and Delegates Olszewski, Davis, and Mitchell, and we are pleased to have the support of Governor O’Malley for this important legislation.
The EARN program will provide funding for workforce training collaborations between businesses, local government, and non-profits so that Maryland’s working families have the skills necessary for employment and advancement into sustainable jobs. As a result of more coordinated and targeted training, the EARN Program will create jobs by closing the gap between the needs of employers, and the skills of Maryland’s workforce. The Committee hearing went very well, and I hope that the Committee will give the bill a favorable report. The text of the bill can be found here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/bills/hb/hb0227f.pdf
In the neighborhood: I will be knocking on doors again this Saturday. I also would like to ask for your help in putting together a mailing to District residents. If you’d like to join me on Saturday, or can volunteer to help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I want to let you know about a very cool new website - www.love.maryland.gov - created and coded by students in the STEM Engine program at the Digital Harbor Foundation, in the 46th District. The site is part of the Maryland Love Project, a partnership between the State of Maryland, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Baltimore Love Project and the Digital Harbor Foundation’s STEM Engine program. The online portal was created by four middle school and high school students and two mentors during a 7-hour hack-day at the recently opened Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center.
Members of the public can add submissions to the site by tweeting using the hashtag #MDLove or adding an entry directly to the website. In the early summer, an artist from the Baltimore Love Project will interpret the online submissions and create a mural for display in Baltimore City. So, visit www.love.maryland.gov, and tell the world what you love about Maryland.
Thank you again for your continued engagement, and please feel free to contact me at Luke.Clippinger@house.state.md.us, or at 410-841-3303.